Carroll dreaming of Euro 2016 spot


Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Roy Carroll admits it would be a dream to go one better than former Manchester United team-mate Ryan Giggs by appearing in a major international tournament.

The Northern Ireland goalkeeper, 37, has been a key figure in his side’s perfect start to Euro 2016 qualifying, conceding just one goal to date in three successive victories.

Friday night’s clash in Romania offers the chance to extend the country’s best ever start to a campaign and hopes are high that a first appearance on the big stage since the 1986 World Cup could become a reality.

And for Carroll, who played with one of the greatest players never to grace the finals of an international competition, that represents a huge incentive.

“To qualify for a major tournament would be a dream come true for me,” said the Notts County stopper.

“I look at the likes of Ryan Giggs, who was one of the best players in the world and never played in a major tournament.

“It would be nice when I retire and I look back on my career in 20 or 30 years time to reflect on playing at the Euro finals.

“It would be great to say I played in a major tournament. That’s every footballer’s dream.

“I don’t want to look too far ahead, but it’s fair to say it’s a big motivation for me. I’d love to reach the finals with Northern Ireland.

The only way you can achieve that is to continue picking up points in the group. That’s our aim on Friday night. Take points in every game and you’re a little bit closer.”

Carroll is enjoying every moment of his Northern Ireland career now, having previously slipped into exile due to personal problems and previous manager Nigel Worthington’s indifference towards him.

An ideal scenario could now see him celebrate a half-century of caps at France 2016, but he is not doing those sums just yet.

“I haven’t allowed myself to dream that I’d win my 50th cap in France,” he said.

“Three or four years ago I never thought I’d be back playing for Northern Ireland. That’s how desperate things were for me outside football,” he said.

“For me to be back just playing for Northern Ireland is fantastic. Michael O’Neill and the coaching staff gave me great belief to come back into the squad and I’m loving it.

“They have shown great belief in me and I want to give them 100 per cent back. The supporters too. They travel all over the world to support us and I want to give them 100 per cent.”

Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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